5 Tips To Get A Baby To Sleep Through The Nighton Sep 19, 2018
Tiny toes and fingers, diapers and pacifiers are all part of the normal life with a baby. Something that most parents experience is that their sweet bundle of joy wakes frequently throughout the night. This is because young babies can sleep lightly for periods of time totaling around 14 hours a day of sleep for a 3 month old. There are some things that parents can do to encourage their little ones to sleep longer during the night hours.
Bright light helps develop a baby's circadian rhythm, or the "body clock" which tells the body when it's time to be awake and when it's time to sleep. During nap time, keep the blinds open and sunlight shining into the room. Going outside in the sunshine for short periods of time throughout the day is also beneficial as well. Be sure to dress baby appropriately and avoid prolonged direct sunlight to prevent sunburn.
Studies have shown that when a baby is involved with the parent's daily routine, she will become adapted to a normal 24 hour sleep-wake schedule. Babies tend to fall asleep after eating which could lead them to not fill their tiny tummies. Keep baby awake during feedings by talking to her, stripping her down to her diaper and tickle her toes. Babywearing using a carrier, wrap or sling can also encourage baby to get used to moving throughout the day as the parents complete work around the house.
Starting a routine as early as possible helps baby learn that the day is done and nighttime is starting which signals to baby that it's time for an extended period of sleep. After dinner is finished, give baby a soothing bath with lavender scented baby wash and follow up with a soothing massage using lavender scented baby lotion. Keep the lights dim in the house and noise low. Reading baby a story or listening to soothing music can lull baby to sleep. Making sure that the baby is clean, dry and has a full tummy before settling in for the night can ensure a long stretch of restful sleep for everyone.
Naps during the day are vital to baby getting adequate sleep during the night. Because babies grow so rapidly in the first year of their life, frequent naps during the day encourage brain development and physical growth. At a young age, babies can take up 5 or 6 naps per day with length varying from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Trying to keep a baby awake longer than the suggested period of time instead of allowing her to nap can lead to an overtired baby who will be more difficult to settle to sleep.
*Disclaimer - We at My Green Mattress do not support the practice of sleep training as it pertains to allowing an infant to cry it out or to be uncared for at any time. We do believe that each parent will do what is best for their baby to ensure that he or she gets the sleep he needs. The author of the article posted here uses the words 'Sleep Training', and defines it as "The process of teaching a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night". The author never mentions the cry it out method. Sleep training can refer to a variety of no-tear approaches to getting baby to sleep including those advocated by Dr. Sears.*
The process of teaching a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night is called sleep training. Some babies catch on quickly but others need help settling down for the night and wake frequently. Many experts agree that sleep training can begin around 4 months of age. At 4 months, babies establish a sleep-wake schedule and tend to not need to wake during the night to feed. Do proper research for the type of sleep training you think would work for your baby. Once you choose a method, be consistent but willing to try a new approach if one just doesn't seem to work. Every baby is different and has different needs so what can work for one may not work for another. If after trying several different methods and none seem to work, try consulting your baby's pediatrician to inquire if there are any underlying medical conditions preventing baby from sleeping soundly.
By following these tips, your sweet baby should sleep more soundly leading to a restful night for you.